Thursday, January 31, 2008

It's (S)Not Enough

I'm doing it anymore. I'm so done.

Those are the words I said to David the other day when, after four blissful snot-free days, Sage's nose started running. Again.


That is the sound of David laughing when I uttered that proclamation.

He's right, of course. I mean, I guess I could let the snot run down and dry on her face like an old man's goatee. But even typing that made me throw up a little in my mouth.

So it's back to the mad dashes across the room with the kleenex after a particularly powerful sneeze.

Oh, but wait - there's more.

This morning Sawyer woke up sneezing and sniffling. Again.


Now Sawyer, stop using your sleeve and come over here and grab a kleenex.

And so it goes. Again.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Slapped with the Bad Mommy label

I took Sawyer and Sage to the dentist for the first time today. Sawyer's visit was long overdue, to say the least. He's had those teeth for a long time (had 16 by a year). Who knew what was going on in there.

I have to say that Sawyer was a champ. No crying at all. He actually had a pretty good time. They have TV screens on the ceiling, so he could watch when he was lying back.

Sage, not surprisingly, did not cooperate. The only thing she complied with was having the dentist look at her teeth - while Sage was lying with her body on me and her head in the dentist's lap.

Not that it was easy, of course. Sage cried the entire time. The look on a little boy's face as he came into the room for his exam and heard her was priceless. Kinda reminds me of that scene in Nemo when the dentist is fighting off the bird and the kid is watching from the next room.

Our next trip for Sawyer might not be as fun for him. He has a cavity. A CAVITY! The dentist explained that because a lot of his baby teeth touch (look at your kids' baby teeth. They are probably nicely spaced!), a lot of gunk can get stuck in there.

Not that my kid ever drinks juice or eats sweets, of course. GAH! Now he gets to rinse with a flouride wash and we will floss his teeth. That should be enjoyable for all...

So in a few weeks, he is getting a tooth filled. The horror! Seriously. I feel really bad. Because essentially it's my fault. And I had 12 (count 'em, TWELVE) fillings as young adult. That led me to a tremendous fear of dentists that kept me away for a very long time.

Now I go every six months and floss religiously.

I'm hoping he won't ever want to go again after the filling. They'll give him laughing gas to make him more "comfortable."

I'm already scared for him. Which is why I'm sending David.

That, and the possible side affect of nausea or vomiting.

Poor little guy!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Potty (not)Training

I was prepared for Sawyer to be potty trained when he was about three. I'd heard boys were later and tougher than girls. Still, it was like nails on a chalkboard at times listening to all my friends' stories about potty training when we were nowhere close. He was the last of the kids in my moms group to still be in diapers.

He finally asked to wear his big boy underwear right after Christmas of 2006, a couple weeks after his 3rd birthday. He was basically trained in a few hellacious days. He has never worn a pullup or anything at night. In fact, I knew he was ready to train because he was dry when he woke up in the morning.

I was very hopeful with Sage that she would be early. Girls are supposed to be easier, right? And second children like to train themselves so they can be like their older sibling.

Sage was very aware when we were going through the whole thing with Sawyer. She knew something exciting was going on in the bathroom. She liked to "help" by handing us toilet paper.

So here we are, at 2 years, four months, and...nothing. She likes to sit on the potty. But she has yet to go. The past two nights she has said "Mommy! Pee-pee!" and proceeded to take off her pants and her diaper and head off to the bathroom, where she sits on the potty.

And sits.

And does nothing.

I even turned on the faucet to give her the hint.

She has been hiding and yelling "privacy!" when she poops. But she refuses to do it on the potty.

My friend's daughter, who will turn two in March, is already practically potty trained.

I don't get it.

What's with my kid?

We don't make a big deal out of it. My pediatrican firmly believes potty training is a spectator sport. We're supposed to basically ignore it.

I also know that forcing the issue can totally backfire. I have a friend whose son trained earlier than Sawyer - except he still will only poop in a pull-up - after they tried to make him go in the potty, prompting him to hold his poop for a week and become physically ill. Another friend's son trained MUCH earlier than Sawyer and wore a pull-up at night until about six months ago.

I try to be patient. I know I should cut her a break. She just learned how to talk, for cripes sake! But frankly, I've been changing diapers for over four years. I'd like a break!

The problem, I believe, lies in the fact that Sage is incredibly stubborn. If she even THINKS for a MOMENT that I might like it if she'd use the potty, she'll put on the brakes.

It has to be HER idea.

Anytime now...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Couldn't resist..

Sorry, guys, but I just had to post more pics of snow! These were taken on the way out, mostly from the car. The kids are still talking about what a great time they had. If only it were always this easy to amuse them!

I still can't get over how blue the sky was. And yes, that's snow on some cactus-looking plants!

Saturday, January 26, 2008


My husband says Southern California is the best place to live because where else can you surf in the morning and ski in the afternoon? Or maybe it's ski in the morning and surf in the afternoon.

Not that we do either, mind you. But we could. And that is enough to prevent me ever luring him to the much better place to live, aka the East Coast.

But there are days like today that make me really love where we live. We've had some pretty crazy weather lately. It's been chilly. Rainy. And yesterday morning, I spotted some snow on the mountain that we can see from our back yard.

You might have seen news accounts of the avalanche that killed a few people the other day in SoCal. In a town called Wrightwood. It's obviously a terrible tragedy and I don't mean to make light of it in any way. The news video of them giving CPR to one of the victims is haunting.

But my husband and I also noticed how much snow was up there. It's only an hour and 15 minutes away from our house.

We haven't been to the snow for two years. Sawyer loved it then. Sage was non-commital. Then again, she was only five months old.

We decided to head to Wrightwood this morning. Thus began the frantic search for appropriate clothes for the kids. I bought Sage fake Uggs at Target yesterday and David waterproofed them. Sawyer has boots from last year, so we "thought" we were all set - until he tried them on right before we left and discovered they're too small. Poor kid had to wear his sneakers.

I also could not find any gloves for him, so he wore my liners, which I wear for running and which, besides being ginormous on him, are as waterproof as a sieve.

We finally got on the road, only an hour behind schedule. The roads were clear. There was not a cloud in the sky. When we exited the highway, we had just five miles to go to reach our little spot.

I was thrilled when we started seeing snow piled up on the side of the highway. Sawyer looked out at a pristine patch glistening in the sun and yelled "Mommy, somebody poured glitter on the snow!"

Then, we hit traffic. Fourty-five minutes and 450 profanities later - Sawyer whining "I want to get out in the snow" and Sage whining "I"m ready to go home" - we finally emerged from stop-and-go to pull into the parking lot. Right down the street is a cute little playground and a gentle slope. It's the perfect spot for little ones.

It was 42 degrees and as we played in the glorious whiteness, I actually had to take off my coat. It also meant that poor Sawyer, despite soaking feet and hands, didn't even feel the cold for a couple hours.

We had snowball fights. Sage discovered that, when she haughtily discarded her mittens like they were for WIMPS, that snow is actually Cold. Back on went the mittens.

We built the kids' first snowman. And yes, we rolled the snowball to make the body parts. I'm from Connecticut, for cripe's sake! I KNOW how to build a snowman!

Someone let us borrow a sled, and both kids got their first sled rides. Sage, who had to be convinced, loved it! When we got to the bottom of the tiny hill she shouted "Boo it again! Boo it again!"

Watching the kids have so much fun doing something that I grew up doing was a joy, even for just a short time. They'll never know what it's like to wake up for school and huddle around the radio (altho I'm sure it's done by internet now), straining to hear the name of their town as the announcer reads off the list of school closings for snow.

They'll never go to sleep with not a flake on the ground and wake up to a world that's astonishingly covered in frosting like a giant, wondrous cake.

Living out here, we have to take days like today and savor it. For my guys, today WAS a snow day.

Friday, January 25, 2008

You play, you pay

I was talking to my friend, John, at spin class Thursday morning. He mentioned this movie he was going to see that night and asked if I was going (no, this was not a date, you bunch of crazies!).

It was called the Spirit of the Marathon. It's a documentary about the 2005 Chicago Marathon. It followed six people: two elite runners, two experienced marathoners, and two first-timers.

The movie told the story about why they were running and followed them through training and the race. The message was that running a marathon will change you forever.

I was pretty excited about it and even bought my ticket in advance on Fandango (mostly because then David couldn't invent an excuse as to why I needed to stay home and watch him play XBox). The movie was being shown just on this one night, nationwide, one showing per theater. How cool is that?

When I was leaving, Sage, who usually wouldn't care if a UFO sucked me up into its bowels and flew off as long as she had DADDY, threw a semi-fit. She cried and said "What about ME?" and I tried to explain that it was a grown-up movie and that she couldn't go. I heard her crying as I shut the door.

I forgot all about that as soon as I got to the packed theater (good thing I did buy the tickets in advance!). I saw John and his lovely wife and went to sit with them.

The moment the movie began, I was engrossed. It was so familiar to me. The novices, that is. When they started talking about the elite men running 4:40 (GAH!) miles they kinda lost me (yeah, that's four minutes, 40 seconds per mile, which is faster than running 12 mph).

We got to learn about Deena Kastor, who won an Olympic bronze in the marathon but had never actually won a race. Right at the end of the Chicago Marathon, you could tell her body was giving out. Another woman was gaining on her, but Deena held her off. The entire theater went nuts when she won - it was so cool!

The movie reminded me why I love being out there, especially as I watched a single mom bond with her running partners. It also reminded me that 26.2 miles is REALLY far. And that it's really an accomplishment to go the distance, as it were.

I am hopefully going to be healthy enough foot-wise to run a marathon with Cindy, Torrey and John in June. We'll see.

I miss it. Stunningly. Because you know, those miles hurt. But as my favorite runner from the movie, a senior citizen named Jerry, said (and I paraphrase): Even the novice runners follow in the elite runner's footsteps during a marathon.

We're all running the same path. Some just faster - HOURS faster - than others!

I left feeling inspired and proud to be part of this amazing group. I am a marathoner.

But you know, Sage wasn't all that impressed. David went to get her this morning and when he brought her into bed with us, she very clearly did not want to see me. She made David put the comforter over my head so that she didn't have to look at me - much to David's amusement. She literally cried if I came up for air.

So I'm thinking that this is, well, odd, even for her. Then it hit me.

"Sage? Are you mad because Mommy went to the movies last night?"
"Yes. Mommy all gone."
"Well, Mommy came back, didn't I?"

She thought about that for awhile. And then she demanded her milk and cereal. And her Little Einsteins.

No matter how long - or short - the journey, Mommy will always come back. Sometimes, I come back a little better than when I left.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

You know you're a Mommy when..

You look over at your sleeve and you notice there's a fresh string of snot on it, almost like a snail trail. And it's not yours.

If you know your son falling asleep on the couch 20 minutes before dinner is NOT a good thing.

Your daughter thinks you are always in pajamas...because lately, you are.

Anybody else got any?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Killing us with kindness

You never know, when you have two kids close in age, what their relationship is going to be like.

Sawyer and Sage are 21 months apart. Yes, okay, I'll save you the math. I admit that we did it when Sawyer turned a year. I am sure that that will be a topic of discussion for them one day, as it was for me and my siblings. And I'm also sure that the idea of their parents Doing the Deed will disgust them as it did us as kids. But, as my father liked to say, "What, did you think you were made with a finger?" followed by a maniacle cackle.

Before Sage was born, I'd heard horror stories from friends who couldn't leave their older child alone with their newborn for a minute, otherwise the baby would get kicked, hit or otherwise tortured.

Our kids' relationship, however, got off to an excellent start.

Sawyer really didn't really have all that much interest once the novelty wore off. That, and the fact that Sage cried until the linings of our ears bled. I'm sure the constant racket bugged him as much as it irritated us.

Then, after he turned two, he discovered hitting. Me, mostly. But he did enjoy, when Sage was sleeping in her infant car seat, slamming her in the face with one of his metal planes.

Good times, people!

Sage became mobile at 5 1/2 months, and then it was Game On. Especially once she started walking. Before she was a year, she figured out how to grab his toys and run.

Time went on, and her inability to speak hampered some of their play. Sawyer became the Sage Whisperer, learning how to interpret her jargon.

Sage has, in turn, been looking out for Big Bro. On her last day of speech therapy, the teachers gave her a card with a bunch of stickers on it. When we were leaving, she asked "What about Sawyer? Stickers?" She wasn't satisfied until Sawyer got some stickers, too.

And in the past few days, I've noticed something even more remarkable.

Sawyer is going out of his way to help her. Today she was wearing her EllieBellieKids cape and racing around, thumb raised, and shouting SUPER SAGE! But her whirling and twirling caused the cape to fall off, and she started crying.

"I'll help you, Sage," he said, while securing the cape around her neck.

When she wanted to the bucket he was playing with, he took all his toys out of it to give it her.

All this is without my prompting. He even gets off the couch, from where he's watching Little Einsteins or WorldWorld or Ratatouille, to help her with whatever tragedy has befallen her, like her Hello Kitty pillow falling off the other couch where she's sitting.

I'm not sure if the huge amount of snot in his head is affecting his brain. But I've definitely seen a kinder, gentler little boy.

They still squabble. But mostly, I really think they love each other. Which is the most I can hope for. If they are the only kids we have, I want them to know they can always count on each other.

Even when it comes to chocolate. I doled out a Hershey's kiss for each child after dinner (yes, I know, the Devil Sugar) and Sage kept saying, "One for Sawyer too?" She refused to eat hers until she was sure he was also getting one.

Earlier today, David wanted to take a picture of them. Sage hadn't quite gotten to her seat and Sawyer put up his hand like he was holding off the paparazzi.

He was waiting for his sister.

The best of friends.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Get your priorities straight, missy!

Me: Sawyer, your crayons are over there, by the stairs. Over there!
Mom: It's VERY distracting when you talk to your kids when we're on the phone.
Me: Sorry. I can't ignore them when they're asking me something. It's kind of my job.
Mom: Well, it's VERY. RUDE. R-U-D-E.
Me: Yeah, well, my priority is my kids. Maybe we shouldn't talk now then.
Mom: That's right. Bye-bye.



Sunday, January 20, 2008

Hap-da Birday To You! (cha-cha-cha)

No, in answer to your question. It is not Sage's birthday again. Having her once was quite enough, thank you very much.

She and Sawyer have been playing Birthday. They put party hats on themselves or other assorted creatures (a bear, a stuffed bat ray, a tricycle). They gather "gifts" which are usually Sage's Hello Kitty case and some matchbox containers filled with whatever they can cram in.

There can be guests: Her Cabbage Patch doll, Sawyer's stuffed Little Einstein's Rocket.

Sage makes a "cake:" a small tupperware container with play food corn, a strawberry, a chicken leg, and a block or two. Then she will bring it to you, sing "Hap-da Birday to Mommy" and then she will blow out the "candles."

Or, more likely, she'll sing "Hap-da Birday to meeeeee. Cha-cha-cha!"

This can go on for an hour. I'm amazed, watching their little minds come up with the whole scenario. Sawyer says he's having a Monster Truck part. Sage has, of course, a Hello Kitty theme.

They are so close, these kids. I love that they involve each other in this game. Tonight, when Sawyer said the party was over, Sage asked him to PLEASE come back. And he was all "Alright, we can still have our party."

Think of all the time and money I could save if this would REALLY satisfy them when there actual birthday comes around again.

Yeah, I don't think so either.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I Was Mugged!

By my own son.

In the wee hours of the morning.

At least, that's how it felt.

Sawyer has this annoyingadorable habit of coming into bed with us in the middle of the night. He climbs over David, gets under the covers, and falls asleep.

Usually I am so dead to the world that I don't even notice until I hear him tell David that he's ready to go back to Racecar Bed.

Once in awhile, he'll stiffen out his legs like a dog and poke me in the back.

He doesn't appear every night, but it's becoming a little more regular. I have talks with him before bed, telling him NO VISITING. And when he wakes up after spending the whole night in his bed, he's pretty proud of himself.

This has not stopped him from helping himself to our slumber.

Last night - it was actually 4:30 in the morning - was Exhibit A as to why I could never do a family bed.

There I was, soundly sleeping, enjoying the last half-hour before my 5 a.m. alarm went off, when all of a sudden there were arms flailing about my face. Legs kicking me.

INTRUDER! A smallish one, but still.

My little boy. When I peered through the dark to his head on my pillow, what did I see but his beatific face, with his dark and impossibly long eyelashes resting against his soft cheek.

So I rolled over. But he wasn't done yet.

He gave me several smacks upside my head, kicks in my side - and he was STILL ASLEEP!

Unlike me. I picked him up - he was completely out - and deposited him in his bed. Then I slept seven more blissful minutes before the alarm went off.

Good f'in' morning.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I'm not even sure what to say about what was going on in the sandbox. Sawyer's get-up is a tad Michael Myers. But really, he was having a blast.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Making do

We don't have Fall in SoCal. It's the season I miss most.

When the baseball playoffs are going on in Boston, I REALLY miss being there - the crisp air, the fuzzy sweaters, and, of course, leaves crunchy under some really hot boots.

There are, contrary to popular belief, seasons out here. There really are. They are:

Cold in the Morning

I'm aware that's six. But hey, I didn't even include Earthquake, Mudslide or Fires of Hell.

We have a tree in our front yard which likes to shed its leaves. In January.

So even though my kids have yet to experience the boundless joy of leaping into a leaf pile and burying themselves under the musty, scratchy splendor, they made do with what they had.

I really have no idea what's going on with this last one, other than Sawyer looks just a bit frightened..

It was a happy day.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Perhaps a bit too cocky?

My new orthotics were firmly in my shoes, my hydration belt was full, and I was ready - finally - to run again.

It's been awhile.

My foot got so bad from my neuroma and tendinitis that my podiatrist shut me down. I also conveniently had the flu, so I could barely move off the couch, nevermind pound the pavement.

I braved two spin classes this week and felt good. I got my orthotics and had no issues at all. They were actually quite comfy.

The alarm went off at 6 this morning and I was excited.

I was going to run!

I cranked the music in my car and headed off to meet Torrey and Cindy. Cindy was waiting when I pulled into the parking lot, and we brought some sexy back as we jammed out to Justin T.

Then Torrey arrived and it was showtime.

The plan was to run eight miles. Yes, I realize I haven't run for almost a month, but eight miles isn't so bad. Really! And everything was going really well, aside from the winds that kicked up and the wind I was sucking.

But I was content to trot behind my girls, as I really was just happy to be here.

We stopped at mile 4 to Gu and I noticed a twinge in the ball of my foot. Then, once we started running again, we had to go up a hill, over the 405, then down.

My foot no likey. The tendon in my big toe was shouting STOP, YOU ASSHOLE! I tried to run through the knifing pain, but it was impossible, and I had to stop and walk. I was so bummed. I told Cindy and Torrey to keep going, but they decided to walk with me.

Once we got back to the flat area, I tested out my foot. It was still uncomfortable, but doable.

We made it back.

Well, I made it back and felt relatively strong. My foot, on the other hand, was clearly annoyed and decided to throb all day. I'm sure it was wondering what the HELL I was doing going that far on my first run after an injury.

Probably not the smartest move. I just can't imagine running three. It's so...short.

I was anxious to get back out there: running with Torrey and Cindy reminded me of what I've been missing. The conversations about everything and nothing. The discussions on, of course, bodily functions. Kids. Work. Life.

The miles go by.

On this particular day, running in shorts and a tee, I could look in front of me and see blue sky and bright sun and, in the distance, snow-capped mountains.

A beautiful morning. Spent with these wonderful women.

Which makes this whole thing with my foot that much more frustrating. It isn't about running a certain distance just to say I can. It's that the distance allows me more time to bond, to laugh, to think.

Without running, without Torrey and Cindy and the pavement and the miles, my life gets a little smaller.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Is that a giant RAT?

It was all going so well. Too well.

We went to a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese this morning. Sawyer was very excited about it because Daddy was coming - which meant he was going to get to play all the race car games that Mommy doesn't understand.

This was Sage's first time as a mobile child (she spent some time as an infant snoozing in her car seat while I chased Sawyer around), though I have been thinking of taking her. It's a relatively cheap way to kill an hour or two, and kids love it.

Or so I thought.

And yes, I realize that I might as well just skip the entire place and instead have my kids go ahead and get barfed on directly, but hey, at least they have fun before they get contaminated by every germ in the known universe. UpChuck. E. Cheese is more like it.

Anyway, armed with a gallon jug of hand sanitizer in lieu of a hazmat suit, off we went.

Sawyer raced off immediately with his friend J. Sage was very interested in all the rides. First she got on the three horse merry-go-round. Then she bounced on a trolley car and a Bob the Builder tractor. She was all set to get on a train, until she noticed a large purple dinosaur sitting in the passenger seat.

No thank you, Barney. She got down and slowly backed away.

She was having a great time putting the "money" in the slots. Everything was going great.

Until that creepy, oversized rat decided he had to walk around and wave at my kids.

Sage was terrified. She jumped off a moving Teletubbies saucer and leapt into my arms, burying her face in my shoulder. Luckily, Chuck E. Cheese went on his way. Sage and I moved over to the table where pizza was beginning to be served.

Then the curtains parted. And Giant Rat #2 came out and started singing. This is a motorized freak show. Horribly scary.

The curtains closed, and Sage was relieved. She was all set to eat her pizza. Then they opened again.

She was done.

The poor thing was so out of her mind that she was actually shaking, certain that this creature would hop off the stage and start chewing off her right leg with its sharp rodent teeth.

I'm guessing Disneyland, then, is not in our near future plans.

David had to remove her from the place. They went to Target. She got a Hello Kitty bag. All was right with the world.

Sawyer slowly got over his fear of the robot one. But he was still afraid of the whole "guy wearing a mouse costume" thing. Which he explained thusly:

"I didn't like him because I didn't KNOW him, Mommy."

Words to live by.

Friday, January 11, 2008

It's not MY fault

I keep waiting for my kids to do something funny. Embarrassing would be even better. At this point, I'd settle for cute.

Cause I got nothin'. I love to post about the sidesplitting or adorable things my two cherubs do, because who doesn't want to read all about them? (cue crickets)

At any rate, I'm at the point where I must shout "DO SOMETHING ALREADY! MY BLOG IS WILTING!"

So I apologize that I don't have anything for you, my loyal readers. But don't look at me. Blame THEM!

And what did I get? Blank stares before they returned to counting the dog hair on the rug.

Okay, maybe if I wasn't spending so much time playing Scrabalous on Facebook I'd have more brain power to work on creating something interesting here. Or at least, surfing the web for the latest celebrity gossip.

Or at the very least, I could dig up a picture to post. But instead, I'm heading off to bed. With the promise to do better next time!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

My Fake Baby

Okay, this is all a bit...weird. Have any of you seen this video? It's about these British women who buy these very lifelike newborns and then do stuff like put them in a pram for an outing to the aquarium.

The newborns can come with little cuts on their face, baby acne, the ability to "breathe" or squirm around - everything but the projectile spitup and poops that explode up their backs.


As one woman who has several said, "People think I'm nutters." Gee, ya think?

The video on youtube is kinda long, like 10 minutes, and David got so irritated from the 2.7 seconds he actually watched that he stormed off yelling "Can you comment that these people are f*cking crazy?!?!"

We're not afraid to pyschoanalyze in this house, nosiree.

Mostly, it's kind of sad. One couple said they don't want children because of the "noise" but prefer to pick one off the shelf. The woman claimed she does realize it's not alive (suuuuuure) and that's it's - shockingly - not giving any feedback, but she really enjoys washing its hair.


I'm not clear who is in the market for these dolls, other than maybe tween girls. If you're a woman who desperately wants a child but can't have one, I'm not clear this would substitute for the real thing. Actually, I KNOW it's not a substitute.

Motherhood in the newborn phase IS actually about the mess and the noise, while knowing that they won't be in that phase forever - and, in my case, being happy about it.

Anyway, beecause I'm a moron and can't figure out how to post the actual youtube video on the blog like everyone else, here's the link.

I found myself not able to look away, kind of like a trainwreck. I'd love to hear what you all think. You don't have to watch the whole thing to get an idea for what this is all about.

My Fake Baby

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Senorita Bossy Pants

No, Mommy, I BOO IT!!!

This is what I hear all day. Every day.

I have a little dictator in pink sneakers.

The weather was kind of chilly and damp today so I decided we would just stay home and play. I've been feeling a bit guilty about spending more time on my laptop than I do interacting with the small people who inhabit my airspace.

I convinced Sage that it would be more fun to play with Mommy and Sawyer in the garage (that's OUR playroom, you horrible people with huge houses!) than it would be to watch her astonishingly awful Hello Kitty DVD. After a small hissy fit, she graciously deigned to join us.

Sawyer was involved playing with his Geotrax. I enticed Sage with some playdoh.

But Sage, I discovered, really isn't the play WITH type. She's the I BOO IT type. As in, she did not want Mommy's help. SHE wanted to roll the playdoh. SHE wanted to cut it with her pizza cutter. SHE wanted to put it back in the container.

I was not just irrelevant. I was a giant pain in her ass.

If I try to sing one of "her" songs, she will shout. Because, well, "I BOO IT!"

I'm all for independence, but she takes it to an extreme. No idea where she gets it from...

In fact, she's shouting I BOO IT right now, as David is trying to get her ready for her bath.

I really do admire her will. It's just that at this age it makes everything so much more difficult. I have to run her down and then physically restrain her just to comb her hair and, if I'm lucky, slap a bow in it.

She insists on buckling herself into her carseat, usually when we're running late to take Sawyer to preschool. It just postpones the inevitable, which is me booing doing it because she can't quite maneuver the smaller buckles yet.

When she has to poop, she runs out of the room. If you ask where she is, she yells "Priiiivadee!" which she learned from her brother, who likes his privacy when he's pooping. Then it's another footrace to swoop her up and drop her on the couch to change her. Don't even get me started on the actual removing the diaper/wiping the butt part. I am looking forward to when she I BOO IT on the potty.

She and Sawyer played outside for a little bit right before lunch. Sawyer kept shoving the front of her tricycle. Sage responded by bopping him over the head with a metal dog brush.

Today, when I wouldn't get her Rocket because she had Stinky Poop #2 in her diaper and was instead carrying her down the stairs, she bit me. Luckily, I was wearing a thick sweater, so all she got a mouthful of fleece. And then she went to timeout. A couple hours later, at dinner, she said "I forry Mommy for bite you."

So she does have a conscience. It just takes awhile for it to surface.

She can be a very snuggly baby. Except not before bed. Shockingly, she wants to read her bedtime story. By herself. In her own chair. Without Mommy.

I am sure there will come a time when her I BOO IT's fill me with pride. She has a lot of those moment ahead of her: learning to read, to ride a bike, to jump off the high dive.

Every nce in awhile, I do see a glimmer that she is open to help from others.

Like when her milk is across the room. And she is too comfy on the couch to retrieve it.

"YOU did it, Mommy!"

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Holy Crap! And do I mean crap!

Okay, not "crap" as in "poop," unless a patch of dried smoothie on the floor qualifies.

David and I decided to rearrange our "living room" furniture tonight. This was not as crazy as a job as it might seem. Because our furniture consists of exactly one couch.

One. Couch.

When you walk into our house, there's one large room, with vaulted ceilings, that encompasses the dining area and the living area. We have a decent sized rectangular table with chairs for the dining area.

We used to have glass coffee tables in the living area, but we got rid of those child-maimers-waiting-to-happen and never replaced them. We also had a huge chair that we later sold at a garage sale. We moved the sleeper couch into what is now David's office.

And bought one couch. It's got a chaise attached to it. The idea was that one of us could lie one way, and the other could lie across the chaise part so we'd be comfortable watching TV. What can I say - I was pregnant at the time.

The reality is the dogs took over the chaise part, so they could have a clear view out of the window to protect us from all manner of cats, birds, neighborhood children and the occasional UPS truck.

I learned this evening that the chaise actually comes off from the sofa part. The problem is that this leaves the couch with only one arm. But we were willing to see what we could do to make two pieces work.

First issue was to move the couch. We have not moved this thing since we bought it almost five years ago. I know, ew, but I never claimed to be Molly Maid.

Imagine our surprise when David lifted it to find, underneath, an eye-popping assortment of books, matchbox cars, cheerios, play food (several french fries, a waffle, a bottom half of a hamburger bun, a mound of peas), doodads David collected for the kids at trade shows, a toy wrench, half a flashlight, the two missing wood alphabet blocks, the letter "X" from Sage's puzzle, automoblox tires, a AA battery, a box of Dots candy, a small Thomas train, a receipt from my half marathon almost a year ago, and the aforementioned dried puddle of smoothie. Strawberry, I believe.

Perhaps we need to move our couch more often?

We hadn't even moved the chaise part yet. That removal revealed a few random puzzle pieces, a matchbox car, two toy airplanes, a pack of Smarties, three missing plastic snack bowls, and more books. And more cheerios.

I felt like the Very Hungry Caterpillar. All I wanted now was a nice green leaf to make me feel much better.

And clearly I would not do well as the Princess and the Pea. I had no clue how much stuff was under there. It has certainly motivated us to, you know, clean under there a little more often.

We're not overly enthused with our new furniture arrangement. But Sawyer is thrilled with his "new" toys (and Smarties). I'm excited the floor is clean.

I sense a new couch in our not-so-distant future. Which will require us to once again move our current couch.

Don't even think about asking me to look under the cushions.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The One

The rustle of taffeta and silk and netting.

A wedding dress, going up and over.

No other sound like it in the world.

One of my friends, Wendy, asked me to go wedding dress shopping with her, her mom and her future mother-in-law.

I was very honored to be asked, because to me, it's a pretty darn special time. Her mom was a bit frosted that it wasn't just going to be her and Wendy, but she loves me, so she got over it. Wendy's future MIL was a lot of fun - luckily for Wendy!

Bringing me along served two purposes for Wendy - I'm unfailingly honest, especially when it comes to clothes, and I can easily tolerate - and distract - her mom.

This is Wendy's second marriage. Her first mercifully ended not even a year after it began. I like to think I had a small part in getting her the hell away from that controlling, misogynistic a-hole who liked to use the Bible to justify why he was In Charge.

He was mean. Horribly, viciously mean.

Wendy and I had a lunch while she was debating what to do. She cried through the entire thing. She was in her mid-20s. She struggled with the stigma of having a failed marriage, of being divorced so young - despite her husband's propensity of making her feel smaller than a dust mote and just about as useful.

This is a woman who had more self-esteem and joy in her little finger than most people have in their entire beings.

And it is tough for her - at 6 feet tall - to feel small. But she did. I was sad for her. But also optimistic.

I told her that I would support her no matter what her decision was. I also pointed out that she could either be divorced and likely happy again. Or she could stay married and be freakin' miserable. Forever.

She later told me (she moved out shortly after) that knowing I'd support her no matter what made a huge difference. That made me feel good. I was paying it forward in a sense, as a good friend told me the same thing when I was debating whether to break up with a particularly damaging boyfriend.

So it makes me thrilled to see Wendy so happy now. And so proud of how brave she was and how far she's come.

Walking around the bridal shops definitely took me back. I remember the excitement, the endless racks of possibility, and also the mountains of hideousness that hung side-by-side with The Dress, wherever it might be.

I watched brides-to-be trying on all manner of dresses, from a mermaid style to a pouffy creme puff to a fitted sheath to a beaded monstrosity.

It was tough not to smile at the women. They turned this way and that in front of the mirror, no doubt imagining if this was it, the Perfect Dress to wear down the aisle, the one to make her latent Princess dream come true.

We waited for Wendy to find hers.

And then she did. It was very simple. Ivory. Heavy silk. Strapless with a smooth bodice before the skirt fell in folds.

It wasn't the dress that made her beautiful. It was the way she floated out of the dressing room. Of the smile of expectation that lit her face.

She knew.

We knew.

She found The One.

She deserves it. She's worked hard.

She's already found herself.
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